Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi has urged children in the state to be focused, disciplined and shun all forms of social vices, so as to make their parents and the nation proud.
Bello gave the advice at a programme organised to mark the 2021 National Children’s Day on Thursday, at the Lokoja Confluence stadium.
Bello, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr Afolashade Ayoade, thanked God on behalf of the children, for keeping them alive and healthy to witness another children’s day.
”We want to appreciate the Almighty God for sparing your lives and preserving you in sound health, mind and mental health, to join others all over the world to celebrate the children’s day,” he said
He prayed God to continue to keep the children, while advising them to do their best, shun all forms of social devices, be disciplined and emulate the governor.
The governor also urged the children to be focused and study very hard to become great personalities in life, and make their parents and the state proud.
He further urged the parents to take good care of and train their children to be God-fearing, so as to reap great rewards.
Also speaking, the State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hon. Fatima Buba, thanked God for the enablement to celebrate the children’s day without obstruction as experienced in 2020.
She disclosed that the day was first celebrated in Nigeria in 1964, to raise awareness on issues affecting children and to appreciate the fact that they are the future of our societies.
“It is also a special day to recognise honor and appreciate children because they are God’s gift to us.
“So, attention must be paid to their spiritual, emotional, educational and social wellbeing, in which the physically challenged children are not also left behind,” Buba said.
She stressed that all children, irrespective of their status or situation, should enjoy the right to survival and development, as enshrined in the Child Rights Act, 2003.
The highlights of the activities marking the children’s day was a march past and cultural dances by children from primary and secondary schools from across Lokoja metropolis.
It was reported that the Police Children’s Primary School and Teachers’ Home International College, Lokoja, emerged winners of the march past for the primary and secondary categories, respectively.
Tosin John, a participating student, thanked the state government and the ministry of women affairs, for organising befitting activities for them to celebrate the children’s say in a grand style.
In his vote of thanks, the Permanent Secretary in the women affairs ministry, Mr Joseph Akele, thanked the Governor for the privilege to hold the 2021 children’s day, which had not been held since 2016 in the state.
The National Children’s Day is celebrated every May 27 and this year’s theme is: “Effect Of COVID-19 Pandemic On The Total Wellbeing Of The Nigerian Child! The Way Forward”.